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Tomorrow, the final report from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety will be handed to the Federal Government.
While the details are still to be released, previous reports from the Royal Commission have identified key failings in the aged care system in relation to people living with dementia, their families, and carers.
Dementia Australia, along with people impacted by dementia, have been exploring the key challenges and solutions to improve the quality of dementia care and have presented a clear roadmap for change to government.
Our vision for the future of dementia care has been developed alongside people with lived experience of dementia over a two-year period with extensive engagement and consultation with the health and aged care sector.
Our Roadmap for Quality Dementia Care focuses on three key areas to transform dementia care in Australia:
- A single point of contact for people impacted by dementia, to help them find the support they need
- Dementia-specific training for all aged care employees
- Dementia-friendly design standards across aged care, which help people living with dementia to remain as independent as possible
Details of our roadmap can be found here and over the coming weeks we will update our website and social media pages with more information. We will also keep you informed through future eNews editions.
Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety is a once in a generation opportunity to transform dementia care and the aged care system overall.
“We expect the federal government and the sector will commit to significant investment and transformation that will make a profound difference to the experience of people affected by dementia – now and for generations to come,” Ms McCabe said.
Thousands of people of all ages, living with all forms of dementia, their families and carers have shared their very personal, often traumatic and confronting experiences directly with the Commission as witnesses, through submissions, by attending roundtables and community forums since September 2018.
“As the organisation that represents and is the voice of people of all ages living with all forms of dementia and their families and carers in Australia we will champion the voices of our consumers and advocate for these changes,” Ms McCabe said.
"We are already working the with government advocating for these improvements.
“With almost half a million Australians living with dementia and with this figure projected to increase to 1.1 million people by 2058, now is the time to act.
“Getting quality care right for people living with dementia will have a profound and lasting, impact for all – systemically, economically and as a human right. It is our responsibility as a society to provide appropriate care for those who are most vulnerable.”
Grahame Smith who is living with dementia said: “I would love to see the adoption all of the recommendations from the Royal Commission, not just the easy ones, and to provide adequate funding to employ enough of the right staff in the aged care sector.
“Quality dementia care is important because those living in aged care homes are the most vulnerable. It is vital those who can’t speak for themselves are cared for with compassion and understanding.”
Nell Hawe who is living with dementia said: “My hope for the future of aged care in Australia is to provide quality holistic person-centred care by suitably trained staff to those people living with dementia and others using aged care, and their carers and families”.
Anne Fairhall, long-term family carer and Dementia Australia Honoree said: “Having gained extensive lived-experience over many years negotiating the often complex and broken current home and residential aged care system, I urge the government now to be ready to demonstrate swift action to rebuild the aged care system as ‘fit for purpose’ and enable it to deliver consistent quality care for all Australians, as I am sure will be recommended in the Royal Commission report”.
If the conversation about aged care has raised any concerns for you or a person impacted by dementia, please call the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500. Our trained advisors are available 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday excluding public holidays.